BY: Heidi Larson Hurley
Heidi Hurley is a former active duty and reserve veteran of the United States Marine Corps. She served for a total of 9 years and 6 months in broken time from 1975 until 1993.
Born October 27, 1957. Raised in Braintree, MA, attended Braintree High School and Graduated in June of 1975. Heidi attended USMC basic training Sept-November 24,1975, was the Honor Graduate and Molly Marine. Her first duty station was Camp Pendleton, California with a MOS of 4611, Graphic/Illustrator, where she worked at the Training Support Center creating training aids and briefings for Base Command, Schools, and Training Battalions. Heidi was trained OJT (On the Job Training) for her MOS. Her skills were taught to her by civilians who were master craftsmen in hand lettering and graphic design. At Camp Pendleton, Heidi entered art contests, drew illustrations and cartoons for the “Scout” magazine, developed her skills in hand lettering for display boards as well as preparing slide shows for briefings and presentations. Larson worked her way up to the rank of Meritorious SGT. At the end of her enlistment, she received an honorable Discharge Sept of 1979.
After active duty, Heidi attended Massachusetts College of Art and earned a BFA in Design and Master of Science in Art Education. It was during college that SGT Heidi Larson was attached to the H&HMS-49 Squadron at South Weymouth Naval Air base for 3 years. The reserve unit met once a month for weekend drills and yearly week-long ATD’s around the country and Heidi was the unit’s PAO (Public Affairs Officer) taking photos, writing articles, and drawing illustrations for various USMC Reserve Magazines. After college, Heidi Larson worked at Hill Holliday Connors Cosmopulos advertising agency as an art director. She left HHCC to pursue her degree in Art Education and started teaching art. In 1989 during the Saudi Conflict, Heidi Larson was “RIF”ed (Reduction in Force) from her teaching job and it was then she made the decision to return to the USMC “if they needed me”. Her former MOS/4611 was considered critical and she was reactivated after being away for 13 years of active duty service. She was assigned to her previous MOS and was the Section Chief of the Graphic Design Unit of the Audio Visual Support Center. With her graphic design and Illustration experience Heidi created illustrations and graphics as well as leading a team of Marines in her section. SGT Heidi Larson was stationed at Camp LeJeune NC for 3 years and 6 months. Heidi was discharged and returned to her teaching position in Braintree Public Schools and was the Coordinator for the Graphic Design Certificate Program at Massachusetts College of Art. Heidi retired as Art Director of Braintree Public Schools
January of 2021. Heidi taught art and design for over 32 years.
It was during the COVID shutdown that Heidi created a series of 500 drawings that represented the fears, joys, and craziness of the time. Heidi created the #CoronaArtChallenge on March 14th for her students. Since everything was online and virtual, she wanted her students to continue to create during the shutdown and not give up… So, she drew and drew and drew for 500 days and every day she posted on social media to reach out to her students and friends. In return, many people sent her drawings that they or their child did. Students past and present sent her photos of their inspirations. People colored in the black and white drawings printed them out and mailed them back to Heidi to see. Many people (even ones she didn’t know) followed and commented on the drawings. Some of the drawings were funny, some were serious. Some were controversial, but most of all, Heidi wanted to spread JOY and make people smile during a tumultuous time. A friend suggested that she make a book of her drawings and immediately Heidi went to work, found a printer, copyrighted her book, and sold over 2,000 copies. From every book sold, $5.00 was put towards a scholarship fund, and last May Heidi gave 3 Art Scholarships to students who were pursuing a career in the arts.
Here is the intro to her book:
My Name is Heidi Larson Hurley
And these are my 500 drawings.
This #CoronaArtChallenge adventure started March 14, 2020, at the beginning stages of the Covid shut down. I thought I would document my days and motivate myself to do “something” every day to share with whoever cared to see what I did. Schools, businesses, and restaurants all shut down. The world shut down. I lost physical contact with my students, friends, and family and wanted to reach out and share what was going on in my life and mind.
The purpose of my #coronaartchallenge was to express my own fears, emotions, and humor about the unknown, but also to motivate others to share art.
People shared artwork with me. Students would send me photos of what they were working on, friends would share a photo or drawing. A favorite was when someone would share a photo of my drawing of the day colored in.
This made me smile.
I honestly thought that the pandemic would last a few weeks. I started with an old black binded sketchbook with faded pages and thought I would repurpose it, I had a golf pencil, an eraser, and a black pen. Little did I know that I would end up with 5 filled black sketchbooks, go through 3 dozen pens, 2 pencils, and 2 erasers.
What did I learn?
I learned that no matter what your situation, you can always find something to share… and people will react. They might “Like” what you
do… send a comment about how it made a connection. I also learned that not everyone is going to “Like” what you say or do.. That’s OK..
Enjoy, Color, Share, and Reflect.
That is what this book is about.
Peace to you.
Stay Healthy and #DoArt
Currently, Heidi is the Creative Director of the Braintree Community Arts Center, and PROUD coach of the Braintree High School JV Girls Golf team. Heidi is in her own YouTube Series: Exploring and Creating with Heidi (BCAM) and explores different types of art media and techniques. Heidi is the President of the Women Marines Association’s MA BayState Chapter-1. Heidi is married to the newly appointed Judge Joseph P. Hurley, III and have one son, John.
Please feel free to reach out to Heidi if you are interested in her book it is only available through her personal account. [email protected]